Midnight Ramblings XIII

Chaos in Print

NOTE: You know the drill. Every time pop culture picks at my brain, I e-mail my buddy “Neelix” to get it off my chest. So, let’s rock!

Hey Neelix!

I write this on Thursday the 12. Tomorrow is Friday the 13th and it’s a full moon. Am I the only one that finds that just two bad omens too many? Ehh, it’s my superstitious nature. I get that from my mother’s side.

Actually, right now I’m kind of conflicted. A week ago, Digimon: The Movie hit theaters. It debuted in the #5 position. How does this conflict me? Well, I hate Digimon. I’ve always seen it as a lame Pokémon rip-off. And the voice cast is just so high-pitched and squeaky it’s annoying. But, on the other hand, it opening in the #5 position shows that there is still a market out there for this kind of movie, and it ensures that Pokémon: The Third Movie will probably still get its theatrical release in the spring. I’ll probably go see Digimon: The Movie when it hits the loonie theaters. You know, out of morbid curiosity.

Hey! How’s this for weird? One of my favorite jokes on The Drew Carey show happened when Drew and the gang were sitting around watching the scrambled porn channel. When Lewis asked “Why don’t you just spend the extra money to get it de-scrambled,” Drew replied “I can’t. I already get the cartoon channel, and I hear that if you get that and the porn channel, they put your name in a special file.” Well, guess what? I was looking over the flyer for one of those mini-satellite dishes, when my eye wandered to the programming packages. One of the channels offered, of course, was the Playboy Channel. I perused the fine print, only to discover that in order to get the Playboy Channel, you must first get the tier called “fun stuff.” What’s in fun stuff? The family channel, the kid’s channel, the preschooler’s channel, and yes, the cartoon channel. Why you have to get these channels before you can get the Playboy Channel, I just don’t know.

So, Star Trek: Voyager kicked off its seventh and final season last week. The villain of the piece was the Borg Queen. I don’t know about that Borg Queen. I think she’s just been used a little too much right now. When we first met her in Star Trek: First Contact, I thought it was a great idea. Here, the entire collective consciousness of the Borg dropped into a single body; a voice so we could here what’s on the collective’s mind. But now, in the whole Unimatrix Zero two-parter, she came across like the boss/dictator of the collective. So, from being the voice, she became the one in charge. I just found that confusing. But it was a good episode. Hopefully, Voyager will go out with a bang.

Let’s see…what else is on my mind? I think I should rent a Sony Playstation one of these nights. There are just so many Playstation games out there that I want to give a try. There’s the latest Beast Wars game, entitled Beast Wars:Transmetals. This is a fighting game, where you can be either Optimus Primal or Megatron and duke it out for control of the universe! Then, there’s the Dukes of Hazzard game. A racing game, where you drive the good ol’ General Lee. It even features the voices of the entire original cast, plus a few new songs by my favorite country music group, The Tractors. And finally, I just want to give Lego Racers another spin. I may have ranted on this in the past, but it deserves re-ranting. This is a racing game, in the best tradition of Super Mario Kart, where you race little Lego cars around. It’s just a blast. I play it at my cousin’s place, but he hasn’t unlocked any other tracks yet, meaning we can only play the first four.

Hey! Guess what? I was at my brother’s place the other night, and he gets TeleToon. Thanks to him, I was able to catch one of the greatest cartoons of the 80’s: The Real Ghostbusters. Did you know this little quirk about The Real Ghostbusters? The characters of Venkman and Winston had two different voices each. When the show began, Venkman’s voice was done veteran voice artist Lorenzo Music (voice of Garfield) and Winston’s voice was done by stand-up comic/former late night talk show host Arsenio Hall. Soon, though, the show was picked up by the networks, and the voices were recast. Venkman’s voice was then done by Dave Coulier (Uncle Joey on Full House), and Winston’s voice was done by veteran voice artist Buster Jones. They even went back and re-dubbed the older episodes. Very cool.

Actually, watching that got me thinking. What are the odds of petitioning TeleToon to show more cartoons of the 80’s? Here are some of my top choices, and the odds:

MASK – I think we’d have a good shot at getting this one on TeleToon. It was made by Canada’s Nelvana Studios, so it’d have the whole Canadian Content thing going for it.

G.I. Joe and the Transformers – Of course, these two have wonderfully huge cult followings. And there’s precedent! The Sci-Fi Channel (the U.S.’s Space: the Imagination Station) used to show Transformers, and the USA Network (generic U.S. rerun channel) used to show G.I. Joe. So, what’s good for the Yankees….

He-Man – As much as I’d love to see this one come back, it’s doubtful. See, the company that made He-Man (Filmation) went bankrupt in the early 90’s. In the ensuing liquidation sale, all their stock was sold to Hallmark (yes, the greeting card company owns He-Man). And, from what I’ve gleamed from the Internet, they charge an arm and a leg for old Filmation stuff.

Speaking of He-Man, get this. Inspired by the success of Hasbro’s relaunch of the G.I. Joe toys, Mattel has just announced that they’ll be re-releasing the classic Masters of the Universe action figures! They’ll hit toy stores in January of 2001 (April is the Canadian release) and series one will consist of: He-Man, Man-At-Arms, Teela, Skeletor, Beast Man, Mer Man, Evil-Lynn, Trap Jaw, Tri-Klops and Faker. Also in the assortment will be boxed sets of He-Man & Battle Cat and Skeletor and Panthor. This release is being geared primarily at collectors. Each figure will be released in an exact recreation of the original packaging from the 80’s, and then boxed in a special silver foil box. What I find fascinating is how Mattel recreated these figures for this release. It seems that Mattel destroyed all the molds for the action figures years ago, so what they did was buy some old Masters of the Universe figures on eBay, and then reverse-engineer them.

And one last thing. I was watching some old Transformers cartoons this weekend, and it both shocked and offended me. I was offended in that antimatter figured into the plot, and it was so not how real antimatter worked. What shocked me was that this cartoon was made in 1984, and yet it managed to properly use the term “upload.”

That’s all for now!

Mark

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